The National Education Policy Center interviewed Bruce Baker about his review of a much-ballyhooed study of the impact of market forces in the New Orleans schools.

The Education Research Alliance at Tulane University released a study last July declaring that the privatization of almost every school in New Orleans was a great success. That very day, Betsy DeVos gave $10 Million to ERA to become a federally-funded National Center on School Choice. The report was written by Douglas Harris and Matthew Larsen.

Bruce Baker, a researcher at Rutgers University, has studied charter schools, school funding and equity for years. He was commissioned by NPE to review the ERA study.

His conclusion: Harris and Larsen had minimized the importance of demographic changes following the hurricane and the enormous influx of new funding. These changes alone, he said, could have accounted for the effects in New Orleans documented by the ERA.